By Ann Powers
For the TODAY
Lassie just wanted to go home and so does every other dog — especially those without one.
So, gather up your four-legged friend and head over to the 10th Annual Yappy Days Festival at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City on Saturday, June 16.
Hosted by the Inn at Cape Kiwanda, the sidewalk fair raises money and awareness for the area’s homeless and less-fortunate animals. All proceeds benefit the Tillamook Animal Shelter, which houses an average of 80 surrendered pets each year at a cost of roughly $85,000, according to the nonprofit’s president, Maria Nagy.
“All of our money comes from fundraisers and grants,” she said. “We don’t get any municipal money. So, these events we do throughout the year raise our funds.”
Nagy said the tail-wagging good time will feature a silent auction, vendors, mini pools for a doggie dip and face painting for the kids. Volunteers will also be available to speak with potential adopting families about dogs in need of forever homes and how they can take the next step.
And, prepare to be slobbered on. New this year is a doggie kissing booth, along with a pet costume contest and puppy prize walk.
Speaking of walks, it’s been a long road for the shelter to get where it is now — primarily with support from the community at events like Yappy Days.
The shelter began in 2004 through the compassion of a handful of Tillamook County — two of them being Nagy and her husband, Dan Dixon. Nagy said they wanted a safe haven for vulnerable animals and the original shelter was a small, three-kennel compound on Ekloff Road at the county transfer station, or dump.
Over the years, the shelter focused on raising revenue to build a bigger and better facility, now located at 14455 Hwy. 101 South. The newer operation, established in 2016, doesn’t sit next to a landfill and will soon begin sheltering cats. Nagy said the shelter already has a space set aside to do so, which she calls the “Cat Room.”
Much like the shelter expanded its three-kennel operation to better accommodate canines, the same is in the works for its future kitty clientele. Nagy noted the Cat Room is a good start, but not large enough for the county’s down-and-out feline friends.
Enter “Cat World.”
Specs on the future indoor-outdoor cat planet include three concrete buildings with a fence around them and a cap on top to prevent cats getting out and to stop predators getting in.
Cat Room is scheduled to open in the next couple of months. Cat World is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.
The no-kill shelter is in constant need of donations, which are accepted year-round as well as at the Yappy Days event. Tax receipts for the gifts will also be available.
Much-needed items include:
Cash: Monetary donations allow the shelter to treat ill or injured animals that come to the shelter as a result of abandonment or abuse.
Toys: Things to chew, gnaw, tug, pull, chase and fetch.
Cleaning Supplies: Dish-washing liquid for cleaning food bowls and laundry detergent for keeping bedding fresh and clean.
Bedding: Gently used blankets and towels.
Cool Stuff: Anything that can be raffled or auctioned off at fundraisers.
Pet food: Both canine and feline.
Yappy Days volunteer Denise Dixson said donations to the shelter, as well as robust attendance at its fundraisers, have a significant impact on disadvantaged animals in Tillamook County.
“Come out and support Tillamook Animal Shelter,” she said. “Bring your dog and join the fun.”
Yappy Days runs from 11 am to 4 pm at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda, 33105 Cape Kiwanda Drive. For more information, call the shelter at 503-812-0105 or go to /www.yourlittlebeachtown.com.